Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s 10 Greatest Songs and Greatest Discs (Representative Songs and Hidden Masterpieces)

I have created a ranking of Emerson Lake and Palmer (ELP).

They are generally classified as a Progressive Rock band.

However, I think it is better to listen to them as a hard rock band.

That’s why I’ve selected these songs from that perspective.

Please enjoy the passionate performance.

This blog is an automatic translation of a Japanese blog into English.

Please understand that it may be difficult to read.

No.1「Nut Rocker」(アルバム:Pictures At An Exhibition)


■Song Title:Nut Rocker
■Album Name:Pictures At An Exhibition
■Video link:「Nut Rocker」

This album is a live rendition of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures At An Exhibition”.

Initially, it was just a live performance and was not planned to be released.

However, it was released officially in a hurry because of piracy.

However, this song is not from “Pictures At An Exhibition”.

Pictures at an Exhibition + encore Nut Rocker (a rock arrangement of the “March,” a piece from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker.

In fact, it was released as a single album consisting of B.Bumble & The Stingers’ 1962 cover of Nut Rocker.

展覧会の絵 ウィキペディア

So it’s a song from “The Nutcracker”.

It seems that this song has an original story.

Here’s a link to the original.

B.Bumble & The Stingers – Nut Rocker

Even if you don’t like instrumental music, you may enjoy this kind of music.

This song is like a merry-go-round with too much speed.


No.2「Jerusalem」(アルバム:Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends…Ladies And Gentlemen)


■Song Title:Jerusalem
■Album Name:Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends…Ladies And Gentlemen
■Video link:「Jerusalem」

I think the live version of this song is better than the studio recording.

Greg Lake’s vocals are amazing on this song.

He was the vocalist and bass player on King Crimson’s “In The Court Of The Crimson King”.

He also sang on that famous song “Moonchild”, and this song is also a great song.

This song was originally a choral version of a poem by William Blake, and this song is a cover song.

I’ve never heard this song in Japan, but it seems to be a national song in England.

Parry, orch. Elgar: Jerusalem

But Greg’s song is sung proudly with a large chorus behind him.


No.3「Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression-Part 1」(アルバム:Brain Salad Surgery)


■Song Title:Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression-Part 1
■Album Name:Brain Salad Surgery
■Video link:「Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression-Part 1」

This album is considered to be their best work.

The majority of this album is taken up by a suite called “Karn Evil 9”, and this is the first track of the suite.

This is the first song in the suite, and at around the 2:18 mark, the performance starts to heat up.

Usually in a hard rock band, the guitar plays a central role in the sound.

ELP also has Gregg playing guitar at times, but mostly Keith Emerson plays keyboards.

His keyboard presence is so strong that you don’t feel the absence of the guitar.

Keith’s keyboards are one of the pinnacle in terms of making people go crazy.

His playing is capable of grabbing one’s heart in a frenzy.


No.4「Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression-Part 2」(アルバム:Brain Salad Surgery)


■Song Title:Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression-Part 2
■Album Name:Brain Salad Surgery
■Video link:「Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression-Part 2」

Let’s focus on Carl Palmer’s drumming here.

My own description of the appeal of his drumming is that he is a propulsive drummer.

To put it bluntly, his playing is rough.

In soccer, there are aggressive goalkeepers, aren’t there?

They are the type who aggressively go forward to catch the ball and immediately inspire their teammates to attack.

In my image, that’s what Carl’s drumming is.

Especially the performance from 2:55, doesn’t it feel like that?

But it was the fact that it worked so well with Keith’s keyboards that made this band so special.

Finally, this album is the work of H. R. Giger.

It may be liked or disliked by some, but I think it is a very memorable jacket.


No.5「Knife Edge」(アルバム:Emerson, Lake And Palmer)


■Song Title:Knife Edge
■Album Name:Emerson, Lake And Palmer
■Video link:「Knife Edge」

They were called a “supergroup” and were the center of attention from the time they formed.

They were called “supergroups” from the time they were formed, because they were already famous for their respective bands.

Let’s get this straight.

Keith Emerson: Guitarist
from The Nice

Greg Lake: Vocals, bass, guitar.
from King Crimson

Carl Palmer: Drums.
from Atomic Rooster

They were a popular group at the time.

Wikipedia says this.

Emerson topped Melody Maker magazine’s popularity poll, and the band also won Brightest Hope first place.

エマーソン・レイク・アンド・パーマー ウィキペディア

They were also popular as idols at that time.

Please take a look at the jacket of this best-of album.


With such a thrilling performance by such handsome men, I think it was only natural that it sold well.


No.6「From the Beginning」(アルバム:Trilogy)


■Song Title:From the Beginning
■Album Name:Trilogy
■Video link:「From the Beginning」

In this section, I would like to mention Greg Lake.

He is the vocalist and bass player in the band, but also plays guitar from time to time.

This song is Greg’s sole focus.

The band seems to be defined by Keith, with his imaginative phrase after phrase, and Carl, with his flamboyant, high-handed playing.

But there is no pull to it.

It was Gregg’s songs that filled this weakness.

From the beginning, he would sometimes offer these songs.

On the first album, he provided “Take A Pebble” and “Lucky Man”.

I like the hard side of these guys, but even I sometimes want to hear these songs.

Greg’s writing is beautiful and understated, which I really like.




■Song Title:Hoedown
■Album Name:Trilogy
■Video link:「Hoedown」

This song is not an original.

It is a cover of one of the songs in Copland’s suite “Rodeo”.

As with the other songs I’ve mentioned, the original is a classical piece.

Here is a link to the original.

Hoe-down from “Rodeo” (Copland)

They have been called the “Four Heavenly Kings of Progressive Rock” or the “Five Greatest Progressive Rock Bands”.

However, they were only in their prime for 4-5 years.

Nevertheless, the reason why they are among the legends is because their albums in that short period are all masterpieces.

This album is the most modest of them all, but it is still a very popular album.


No.8「Canario」(アルバム:Love Beach)


■Song Title:Canario
■Album Name:Love Beach
■Video link:「Canario」

It is said that their heyday was from their first album in 1970 to their live album in 1974.

Few people would argue with that.

This song is from their last album.

This song was selected from their last album.

After their heyday, their songs became more pop-oriented, and this album is even more so.

Especially in the first half of the album, there are a lot of distracting songs, which disappointed me when I heard them in the past.

However, this song and the next one, “Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman,” are impossible to ignore.

This song, in particular, is the best of the period.

They broke up in 1980, and released Emerson Lake & Powell in 1986 with Cozy Powell on drums instead of Carl.




■Song Title:Tarkus
■Album Name:Tarkus
■Video link:「Tarkus」

Their best work is a matter of opinion.

I’m in the “Brain Salad Surgery” camp, but I have to admit that “Tarkus” has its own charm.

The vocals come in at 2:57, but it’s the percussive performance from about 4:02 that is the real treat.

The use of organ and Moog is also very effective.

By the way, Tarkas is the animal on the jacket, which looks like a combination of a tank and an armadillo.

It is an animal that suddenly appears on the earth and destroys the world.

Also, the name of the song “Manticore” in this suite refers to a human scorpion.


In the story, Manticore fatally wounds Tarkas, and Tarkas returns to the sea.

The name “Manticore” was later adopted as the name of the label to which they belonged.

Incidentally, there is an anecdote about this.

Initially, Greg Lake was not interested in the concept of this work and told Keith Emerson coldly, “Why don’t you do it solo? At first, Greg Lake was not interested in the concept of this album and told Keith Emerson coldly, “Why don’t you do it solo?

タルカス ウィキペディア

Greg seems to be a man who says things clearly.


No.10「Maple Leaf Rag(Live)」(アルバム:Works Volume 2 (Deluxe Edition))


■Song Title:Maple Leaf Rag(Live)
■Album Name:Works Volume 2 (Deluxe Edition)
■Video link:「Maple Leaf Rag(Live)」

Keith Emerson is said to be a keyboard player with a strong classical and rock background.

However, when you listen to him play, you can hear the influence of jazz.

In fact, this song was written by jazz pianist Scott Jensen.

In fact, this song is a cover of a song by jazz pianist Scott Joplin.

It was first published in 1899, 15 years before the start of the First World War.

Stylistically, it’s called ragtime piano, and Keith’s playing is clearly influenced by ragtime.

By the way, “Nut Rocker,” which I mentioned at No. 1, also has a ragtime feel to it.

The studio version of this song was the single cut.

I prefer the live version on the deluxe edition.

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